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  • Vodacom’s foray into mobile advertising

    Blogging from PublishOnline in Cape Town... Graunt Kruger who works for Vodacom's mobile advertising department had the audience at the conference gasping at the big numbers and big strategies. Graunt disagrees with me, but Vodacom -- who are now Online Publishing Association members -- are looking more and more like a media company these days. Here's the irony, Vodacom is one of the biggest advertisers in the country. But now the tables have turned as they are now accepting advertising on their mobile site, which attracts a big local audience of around 1,4-million monthly users and more than 16-million page impressions...

  • Ten more web trends for the future

    The good folks at Read/Write Web (still my most favourite website) had such an outrageous response to their first post on "10 web trends for the future", that they have come up with ten more -- or rather their users have come up with ten more. Some are obvious omissions (hyperlocal) others are a little on the obscure side ("Blog reading automatically input into our brain"), but never the less interesting. 1. Integration into everyday devices 2. Hyperlocal 3. Data retrievel/manipulation agents 4. Read/Write/Request Web (a.k.a. a "living machine agent") 5. User-controlled, open Internet Identity 6. New forms of Internet Interaction 7. Extended Reality 8. Expert Systems 9....

  • First Google South Africa networking session kicks off

    The new Google country head Stafford Masie held an informal get together and networking session for about 60 or so local internet players on Monday afternoon. He said the briefing was off the record, but later made exceptions for bloggers. It was a good session -- the first ever held by the new Google South Africa. It was a marathon of presentations from Googlers Frederick Leuschner, Carmel Doherty, and Ryan Kitching (a South African living in Eire) -- and then presentations by internet stats guru Arthur Goldstuck, Quirk boss Rob Stokes, entrepreneur & VC-man Vinny Lingham, Acceleration director Richard Mullins,...

  • Jimmy Wales responds to Facebook & search speculation…

    Wired's Epicenter blogger Terrence Russell woke up Jimmy Wales at 2am in the morning in Bangkok to ask him a few questions on the latest speculation, based on my blog post, about what the Wikipedia boss has been up to. On Tuesday night, Wales revealed a few more details about his new projects, under the banner of his new for-profit company Wikia, to a gathering of Geeks at a iCommons event in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the talk, Wales chatted to us about his much-hyped wiki-search project and then revealed a number of screenshots, which he said "were the...

  • Mashable weighs in on latest Jimmy Wales comments

    Noticed that Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins of Mashable, ranked the 7th biggest blog in the world by Technorati picked up on my Jimmy Wales post, which is cool! Mashable reckons Wales may be gunning for a "Socialpedia" of sorts (Wikipedia + Profiles = Socialpedia). Hope my servers handle :-P My post speculated on whether the Wikipedia boss was looking at creating a Facebook competitor or some hybrid search/social networking product (whatever that may be). The speculation was based on a screenshot Wales briefly showed us at the Johannesburg event on Tuesday. My fingers weren't quick enough, but co-blogger Nic Haralambous, who...

  • Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales to create Facebook competitor?

    At a gathering of about 100 of some of South Africa's top geeks on Tuesday night, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales revealed what he said were some of the "first screenshots" of his new project on search. But a screenshot that Wales briefly showed us looked very much like a Facebook profile page, than a search page. In fact it looked pretty much identical to a Facebook profile page. Could this mean Wales is developing a social networking, Facebook competitor too? Could it be some kind of search/social networking hybrid? [UPDATE: Terrence Russell of Wired woke up Jimmy Wales in the early hours...

  • Mobile publishing: A glimpse of the future with Asahi Shimbun

    I always look forward to the presentations by our Japanese media colleagues about their mobile phone strategies. They are the undisputed world leaders in this field. When many places on the planet weren't even using cellphones for SMSing/texting, these guys had mastered delivering content on mobile phones and were making a solid business from it. Japan's Asahi Shimbun is one of the world leaders when it comes to mobile content. The newspaper has a massive circulation of around 16-million readers (8-mill for morning edition, 4-mill for the evening edition). In fact as these outrageously large figures were presented by...

  • SecondLife, another graphic World Wide Web?

    At the beginning of this year I blogged about the amazing work that Adam Pasick was doing with Reuters in Second Life, the virtual 3D world. Now, here in Dublin at the IFRA conference, we were presented with another fascinating story of media doing business in SecondLife. Rowan Barnett, Editor-in-Chief of Avastar, a virtual newspaper in SecondLife, is one of the people behind this successful virtual newspaper which aims to "give the residents of Second Life a voice". If you think about it, virtual worlds like SecondLife are becoming graphic alternatives to the world wide web and here may lie the...

  • Social Networking is Online Publishing 2.0

    I've recently changed my mind about some of the smaller niche, trade, business-to-business websites that are on the online scene. These are often trade publications that cater for specific industries. I've realised that, if approached correctly, this type of publishing is perfectly poised to be more than just traditional content publishing, but powerful social and business networking too. Suddenly, what previously seemed like a boring, bog-standard publishing site, comes alive as a potential social or business network. As a budding online entrepreneur seeking to get into the social networking game, it probably wouldn't be wise to create something that competes...

  • German blogosphere waning, bloggers quitting, says Ifra blog

    I'll be heading off to Dublin, Ireland around the beginning of November to speak at IFRA's Beyond the Printed Word, the world's leading association for newspaper and media publishing. I'll be speaking about "Integration of Web 2.0 services into news sites", sharing our experiences with Thoughtleader, Newsinphotos and Amatomu.com. I've just noticed that IFRA have started an official blog for the conference, with a few interesting blog posts -- the latest being that there is a "Crisis in the German blogosphere". Writing on the blog, Gordon Steiger notes: Looking at the decreasing click rates at Technorati, fewer visitors, less links and...

  • 24.com launches Laaik.it

    Breaking news on the local social media scene: 24.com, the internet arm of Media24, has launched its new social news and bookmarking site, Laaik.it. The news appears to be first broken by local blogger Charl Norman on his Bandwidth blog. I was alerted to it by Justin Hartman on Facebook. We've known for a while, via our spies, that it was coming -- but didn't know much about the name or the execution. My first, initial impression? I haven't tried the functionality, but the look and feel is nice and simple. I like the green, the logo and the clean...

  • Will Facebook eventually replace the Windows & Mac desktop?

    Had the privilege to meet up with Saul Klein, E-commerce VP at Skype and founder of the Open Coffee club, who was in the country yesterday. While chatting to him about the local online scene together with my colleague, Vincent Maher, we got talking about Facebook and other niche social networks. We articulated a thought that I've been mulling over for a while now -- and that is: Facebook is increasingly resembling an Operating System (OS) -- albeit a virtual, online OS -- much like that of Apple Mac or Microsoft Windows. For example -- you can install apps on...

  • Digg's new Arc is serious eye candy

    Just noticed this latest widget from Digg, called the Arc. It's a graphic representation, like their swarm, stack and BigSpy, of who is selecting what stories on Digg. Stories arrange themselves around a circle as users digg them. Stories with more diggs make thicker arcs. They also offer the Arc as a screensaver (clever). These kind of graphic representations can be put to good use by sites that have big volumes of traffic and content -- and, if done correctly, can add value and be another way of surfing a site. Plan to do some of these for...

  • The converging media company

    Who would have thought newspapers and magazines would start producing their own radio and TV programmes? Who would have thought radio stations would become active online publishers, running popular blogs? Who would have thought the readers, viewers and listeners would rise up and start producing their own media? The world is like this because we are in an era of convergence, which is been driven by the digital age. Convergence isn’t a “tech thing”, but a revolution that has fundamental implications for media and society. The result is that technology is become increasingly accessible, flattening established hierarchies. For a big media...

  • Recording executives set to be the Dodos of the modern era

    Read this scathing piece by Wired's Tony Long on the recent activities of the now-notorious Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). They recently embarked on a crusade to sue 26,000 people who are downloading MP3s over the internet to "send a message". It appears to be a desperate attempt to keep the last vestiges of their big cash cow going. Eventually, they will lose. The internet has changed the model of the music industry, as well as the media industry. But it appears the RIAA will fight to the bitter end... Says Long in Wired: So when their first victim,...